Awesome Movies With Strong Female Leads

female boss movies elle

For strong, fierce girl bosses who deserve their own movies.

Let’s admit it. At some point, we owe our inspiration to other lady bosses – real or fictional. A lot of times, I turn to movies to get myself some positive, optimist vibe from movies with strong female leads. And, I have to say, those lady boss movies do wonders to me. They inspire, motivate, even uplift my mood when I feel like I just can’t (which happens a lot of times).

So here they are, my top list of movies with strong female leads. Female bosses, strong females, and ladies who make changes (or lots of money or both!). Better yet, some of these are even inspired by real-life female bosses who’s making it – so brace yourself ladies, your dream is not too good to be true.

Erin Brokovich

Erin (Julia Roberts) didn’t start out as a female boss. In fact, she was the opposite of a female boss. With three kids and no jobs, she’s struggling just to pay the bills. At one point, her resilience (and stubbornness) got her an admin job at a law firm. Even then, she was giving it her all. She went the extra mile. She did what was not expected of her. She sensed something is wrong and she wasn’t gonna sit around and let it be. Not with a law degree or experience but with attitude, “attitude”, wit, and hardwork, she drove one of the most impressive lawsuit win against a giant company.

Interestingly enough, Erin is a woman who knows her worth. She didn’t shy away from asking for a proportional raise. She let a man go when it’s impossible to keep both her man and her work. She is a self-made, bold, truly inspiring girl boss.

The Intern

the intern female boss

In a rare depiction of strong female boss in tech+fashion business, Jules (Anne Hathaway) run her fashion e-commerce business while her husband take care of their kid and home. Powerful and tough as she is, Jules still struggles in balancing her many responsibilities. Fellow moms think less of her because of the roles she and her husband arranged in the household. The business world insists that she needs help managing the successful startup she built.

The appearance of Ben (Robert De Niro) as an elderly intern brought a soft side in Jules. They develop a close and specific relationship that portrays perfectly how a woman can be both a powerful boss and delicate being all at once.


elle female boss movie
The pitch black plot and overall dark atmosphere of the movie is no reason to take this movie out of my list. For me, at the end of the day the fact remains that Elle is an indestructible, self-made boss. Personally, I just can’t fathom how the woman can still seem to function perfectly as the CEO of her own game company after the sexual assault she endured. Elle has a very bold, unbreakable character that outshines the exceedingly dark and depressing plot the movie bears.

Baby Mama

Hilarious duo Tina Fey and Amy Poehler assumed two contrasting roles (as always?), lady boss Kate Holbrook (Tina Fey) and working-class woman Angie (Amy Poehler). In her attempt to have a baby without a partner, Kate hires Angie to be her surrogate, only to find herself in the middle of drama swirling around the baby mama. In between her busy professional life as an executive of a big company, Kate attempts to handle her suddenly complicated domestic situation after asks to crashing for a while after breaking up with her boyfriend. This movie explores the dynamics of two very different women dealing with the craziness within and around them in such a witty and comical way.

The Blind Side

Contributed by Danielle Towner of The Taste Team, LLC

blind side female boss movies

Sandra Bullock portrays Leigh Anne Tuohy in The Blind Side. A movie based on a true story about a timid teen, Michael Oher (Quinton Aaron) with a flawed background. Tuohy and her husband eventually adopt and provide a stable home and life for him. With the family, and mainly Tuohy’s help, Michael taps into his capabilities and protective instincts of the past to excel in school and on the football field.

Tuohy is the perfect example of a strong female boss to me. She has a tough exterior, but also a nurturing side that enables her to care for a troubled child as if he’s her own. A boss knows how to communicate and influence. Tuohy takes time to understand Michael and speak his language to develop his skills on and off the field.

She also doesn’t back down or hold back when it comes to standing up for herself and her family. Through all her toughness, she still shows a softer side. In several scenes, she tries to hide her emotions and quickly wipes away her tears as she walks away. I like Sandra Bullock’s role in the movie because she reminds me of myself. Through wearing many hats, enduring tragedies, and celebrating triumphs, I always try to hold everything together.

Working Girl

Contributed by Jennifer of My Own True North

Working Girl 20th Century Fox

Melanie Griffith dazzles as plucky Wall Street secretary Tess McGill who refuses to play the good ole boys’ club games and stick to the roles women were relegated to in the 1980’s investment banking world. Tess is a modern woman ahead of her time and her determination to create her own after finding out her scheming boss’s betrayal (portrayed by Sigourney Weaver with epic comedic timing and looking stunningly beautiful while doing so) by stealing Tess’s idea. Tess plots her plan with the aid of her best girl friend, Cynthia (by gloriously shoulder padded Joan Cusack), and secures the help (and heart) of Jack Trainer (a rather quippy and witty Harrison Ford) under a pseudonym and. The rest is Reagan era fashion bliss.

Why this movie is not more frequently referenced in pop culture is a complete mystery. From Carly Simon’s opening sequence (for which an Academy Award was won) to brilliant writing and performance, I can watch this movie on a continuous loop. It falls into the Rom Com genre but really is all about the slay baby slay. Tess’s journey in the film begins as a secretary who suffers quite the massive disrespect but she knows she is not steak to be ordered and she shows us how to execute master girl boss ambition.

“I’m not going to spend the rest of my life working my ass off and getting nowhere just because I followed rules that I had nothing to do with setting up.”

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9 Entertaining Movies About Creative Pursuits

creative pursuit movies emma-stone-as-eugenia-skeeter-phelan-in-the copy 2

I’m pretty sure I share this with virtually everyone in the planet: I love movies. And while for me the activity of watching movies started out as mere entertainment, I started to realize how I particularly enjoy some movies with a certain vibe, which I can’t figure out until lately. One day I decided that it’s time for me make a list of my favorite movies, partly because I think that’s a fun thing to do, and partly because I think I’ll save it for bad days (while actually I did watch them on a regular basis over and over again).

Then I found a significant amount of creative pursuit movies on my list. In almost all my favorite movies, the main characters are professional creatives or have some kind of a creative endeavours: as a writer, singer, creator, actor, or dancer. And you know what, it feels awesome to know yourself a little better. I’ve been watching more creative pursuit movies since, and here are my favorite:

Entertaining Creative Pursuit Movies

The Help (2011)

creative pursuit movie the help

The story took place during the civil right movements in the 1960s, about an aspiring author, Skeeter (Emma Stone) who decides to write a tell-all book about African American maids. This movie is heartwarming in so many ways as it captures the lives and hardships faced by “the help” (Viola Davis, Octavia Spencer), but also their warmth and kindness. I was amazed by Skeeter’s bold and tireless (and creative!) efforts to represent the diminished voice of the maids.

Begin Again (2013)

creative pursuit movie begin again

Dan (Mark Ruffalo) met Gretta (Keira Knightley), an independent singer-songwriter, when he was struggling with his record label company. The movie captures the two musicians’ creative journey making music in the outdoors of New York City. I enjoy the movie’s original soundtrack, especially Coming Up Roses (performed by Keira Knightley) and Lost Stars (performed by Adam Levine, also starring as Gretta’s ex-boyfriend).

The Devil Wears Prada (2006)

creative pursuit writer devil wears prada

As an aspiring journalist, at first Andrea (Anne Hathaway) wasn’t very fond of the job she landed as a second assistant to Runway fashion magazine’s editor-in-chief, Miranda Priestly (Meryl Streep). She didn’t enjoy any of the company culture of high fashion and lifestyle, but put up with the job anyway with the hopes that the experience could help her find another job later. The story follows Andrea’s journey reinventing herself in the job (and in Paris!).

Joy (2015)

creative pursuit movie joy

Joy Mangano (Jennifer Lawrence) is a terrific businesswoman alright. She was known for her business empire that made her millions. But she’s also a creative; Joy creates things. She invented the self-wringing Miracle Mop through a process that would not be less than a creative process. I like how the movie captures her creative approach to things and her struggling journey to market what she created.

Grace of Monaco (2014)

creative pursuit movie grace of monaco

Grace Kelly sure had many impressive aspects of identity that makes her so iconic. She was the Princess of Monaco. She was also an activist, and a sensational actress in her time. Even though the movie focuses on Grace’s life after she married the Prince of Monaco and left her acting career, the plot follows her strive to take the main role offered by Hitchcock for the film Marnie in 1962. Grace (Nicole Kidman) struggled to get approval while continue learning to become a better actress and princess and woman.

Ruby Sparks (2012)

creative movie writer ruby sparks

Calvin (Paul Dano) is an introverted young novelist, who one day decided to write about a girl he once had a dream about. Conflict arise when the fictional girl that he named Ruby (Zoe Kazan) somehow came to life, perfectly matching not only the description but also the narration he had wrote about the girl’s life. Things got crazy when Calvin, who had decided to stop writing about Ruby and pursue a real relationship with her, got jealous and finally revealed how she’s just a product of his writing.

Obvious Child (2014)

creative pursuit film obvious child

Donna Stern (Jenny Slate) is a stand-up comedian who got dumped in the bathroom after performing, had a one-night stand with Max (Jake Lacy), got pregnant, and have to schedule her abortion on Valentine’s Day. I love how this movie portrays the character’s tragedies in such a comical way that’s so interesting and intriguing to watch.

Apartment Troubles (2014)

creative pursuit movie artist apartment troubles

Nicole (Jess Weixler) and Olivia (Jennifer Prediger) are two roommates struggling to make money out of their artistic endeavors. On the verge of eviction, the two embark on a journey to ask help from Nicole’s wealthy aunt, who later suggest them to audition at a TV talent show she produced. The two then faced with the mainstream audience’s rather singular taste on art and talent, and failed the audition. Jess Weixler and Jennifer Prediger who played the two main characters also wrote and directed the movie. The film itself is an impressive creative pursuit!

Black Swan (2010)

movie about creative pursuit black swan

This movie portrays a complicated creative process experienced by Nina (Natalie Portman), a professional dancer who strive to get the lead role in Tchaikovsky’s Swan Lake. While her portrayal of the White Swan was impeccable, Nina struggled to elaborate her dark side for Black Swan before she found herself lost in it.

movies about creative pursuit

What’s your favorite movies about creative pursuits? What movies do you think I should watch next? I would love to know your recommendations!